Such a Smart Species
Nothing is sexier than a pitch pine
out to plant its seed under a forest fire
narrow trail through narrow openings of limbs
smoke fades when the act is done
another whack at life another open track
toward sunlight when hell-curtains fall
finally to dirt a last-ditch effort to last
outlast and move up the western side
settled for a view and the next narrow fire
wait and repeat the number of times I'd kiss a girl
under a tuliptree agreed the tallest of eastern
hardwoods and such a smart species of a tree
that only Latin can un-sexy its flowers
Liriodendron tulipifera and somewhere a botanist
sneezes in his hand where dust
fires shovel some little known fact
about the word thrive and the sun
torching itself to give light.
You Will True
I walk through blistered grass where weeds rise
into full dandelion beds around my old chair
broken to tilt over the southwest leg. Every day
I sleep here, breakfast dried beneath bourbon
and bloating unsteady dreams
toward better green miles than these fields
had broken the spite into you, the ordinary girl,
who skins her knee time after time in streams rushed to full
fury when she removes the spine from trout bone red.
Don’t watch a dead fish dry. But you will true.
You fall harder down roads dirt ditches overtook.
Shins endless scabs. Skirt as muddy as your mouth.
Dirt in your teeth and vocabulary rediscovers words
like Luck when ragweed falls to steady rain,
spills its toxins over dirt numbed for your preservation.
Luckily you hate flowers and such, the boozy apology they whittle.
When winter sinks in the creek and freezes a mallard still
in life—cracks its beak, too bent to beat early snow—
you’d say nothing. Ice melts and words split open for you.
Warmth you know spoils from booze and empty vases.
As creeks rise, nature falls into your house,
trout thrown in curls on your pillowcase, you'll see
when burgundy water settles honest to its word
how dandelions look up to you and fall.
NICK AIEZZA lives in the finger lakes region of New York state. He is a student in Manhattanville College's MFA program in creative writing. His work has appeared in The Paris-American, H_NGM_N, and the Fredericksburg Literary Review.